Rhode Island College
Itís great to look out onto the track around 3 p.m. and see a group of people warming up, stretching, laughing and getting prepared together for what the coach [Kevin Jackson] has in store for them each day.
Itís even better to look around myself at the throwing circles and see a similar sight. What a difference from the past few years! Our numbers for both the menís and womenís teams have increased, and itís even nicer to be able to have people who have never ran track before come out and join us.
We can actually call ourselves a team now, I think we know what the word means and we show it. We keep each other focused, push each other at practices, help each other with classes, eat together, go out together after meets, etc.
As a whole, we have an awesome personality and we take that and use it to our advantage. When a team gets along, itís intimidating to other teams and doing well is more fulfilling to everyone. The best way to explain it would be even if someone hasnít had their best performance, they donít take it out on everyone, they internalize it, learn from it, plan to do better and continue cheering on the rest of the team.
We have learned these things throughout the years, but also have learned a lot from our coaches, Kevin Jackson, Liz Legault and Matt Hird. These three people come out to help us train, get better times, or further distances, and simply want us to do well. They give us 110 percent of themselves. They believe in us sometimes more than we believe in ourselves, and they help us work through that. Each of them is very positive. They feel that they are working with strong athletes and they arenít afraid to show that.
This season is a good example. Our teams have had the chance to compete against Division I and Division II schools at several meets. In those meets we have done exactly that, competed with them, if not beaten some of them or placed in the top ten right along with them. We have great athletes here and we show that we can compete.
Throughout all of this, being a student-athlete is tough because you have to keep in mind that the first part of the title, our first priority, is being a student, even if we wish we didnít have to be.
As an athlete here at RIC in order to stay out of study hall, you must stay above a 2.5 GPA. Even though study hall is a good place, itís honestly the last thing you want to be adding to your schedule each week. I must give credit to both of our teams because weíve only had a few cases where study hall conflicts left us short of a few teammates. We all train hard for months for only a few weekends to show others and ourselves what weíre really made of and itís good to see that we stay on top of everything in order to do so!
Our season is nearing its final weeks and there are still records that will be broken, first places that will be taken home and lots of good times to comeÖKeep up the good workÖ TEAM!!!
Joanne Pora is a junior thrower from Attleboro, Massachusetts. RICís menís and womenís outdoor track & field teams will compete in three more meets this season, including the Alliance Championships on Apr. 27, the New England Div. III Championships on May 4 and the ECAC Division III Championships on May 18.